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June 20, 2024

Montessori Outdoor Shelves Play and Work Activities 2024

Summer is in full swing here and it is my favorite time of year. The season is so quick here that there is no chance we are staying inside to work on our Montessori materials. No way! Instead we prepare our outdoor space for Montessori inspired work for my preschooler and toddler. While all my children are free to use these shelves my older kids are usually too busy running in a pack of elementary kids through the neighborhood to pull work off the shelf. 

Outdoor Activities for Your Montessori Home

Here are the choices that I've made for this summer. While rotating the work might help to keep a bit more interest in the shelf, realistically I rarely change much on these shelves over the course of the summer. I might change some little things here and there, but the bulk of this will remain same over the course of the summer. 

Flower Arranging

A total Montessori classic that makes our outdoor shelves every year. At this point, it's pretty simple setup that all of my children enjoy. 

Things that help: Loop Scissors | Funnel 

Color Pencils

I love to include a tray of common art supplies outdoors in the summer. Being outside seems to bring new life to the regular fun that these supplies bring. I rotate a few different throughout the summer, but I like things that can withstand humid, rain, and sun. Color pencils really take a lot of abuse!  

Things that help: plastic box for paper

Water Painting

I wanted a painting option for our shelves that wouldn't cause a huge mess...because, toddler. But I still wanted something fun and engaging. So I decided on painting with water but with fun brushes that would give it just a little different feel. The older kids can use with paint, and the younger can stick with water. 

Bubble Making

My kids love bubbles and making bubbles just adds to the fun. The trick here is to get a deep enough bowl to accommodate the water splashing about a bit. And, learning not to put in too much soap. But the trial and error definitely adds to the fun of the work.

Color Mixing 

This is a new one for our shelves this summer. My kids love color mixing and they love water play, so this little toy really fits the bill. I tried it two ways - with the color tabs that are sold with and with colored water. Color water is cheaper but less independent (since I have to add the food coloring). The tabs were a little more money but ultimately a bit better for us. Typically this is for a bath, but I just added a bowl to catch the color water. 

Things that help: Color mixer | Squeeze bottles 

Discovery / Treasure Bin

My kids find all sorts of outdoor treasures in the warmer weather - abandoned bird nests, rocks, feathers, special sticks, random moss - whatever. These nature treasures need a home and simple box really helps to keep these things from taking over my house. I also add some plastic magnifying glasses that can withstand staying outside. 

Things that help: magnifying glass

Gardening Tools

We do a lot of gardening so having the right tools is important for us. A simple tray to organize some of the smaller tools is really helpful. Having one place to put and find the tools tends to lead to better clean up. We keep our bigger tools, like rakes, in our shed closer to our vegetable garden. 

Things that help: IKEA gardening set 

Bird Seed 

We love to feed the birds and I want to give the kids a way to do that independently. A small box of seed with a scoop inside is really an easy way to do that. However, I do NOT recommend this box unless you have a large dog like I do to keep the squirrels away. I also bring this box inside if we are gone for long periods of time. The vermin quickly figured out how to open it and eat all the seed. 

Things that help: Seed box

Scrub Brush / Cleaning

There's lots of cleaning that needs to be done all summer long, and some simple cleaning tools really help to get the kids excited to help. Usually I just include a couple hand brushes and a broom. Simple things for everyday cleanup. 

Things that help: hand brush | outdoor broom / squeegee 

Having a nice variety of work outside really is popular with my Montessori kids. In fact, I think this work is probably used more than most of the indoor options all summer long. A nice variety of work keeps everyone happy, engaged, and learning!

What do your kids like to do outside in the summer?

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Anonymous said…
Where did you get those awesome outdoor shelves?